WITH THE 1987 BIANCA SFORNI’s photographs and her text about ZINGARO, THE GIPSY CARAVAN TRANSFORMED BY BARTABAS INTO A CIRCUS IN 1984, PARIS-AUBERVILLIERS
“The visionary is the only true realist, who told it? As a matter of fact the visionary gives evidence to events that are his own reality, the most real among existing things.
A circus is not only a show: it’s a way of traveling through our own life.
It’s a fairy tale, the falling short of meanings frozen by our intellect.”
Horses are the true protagonists: Andalusian, Arab, Breton heavy pullers. There is no style in their performances. ZINGARO is not only an equestrian show: Bartabas stages his own life. “There is no torero who is a torero only in the arena” – he tells me – “If you really are a torero, you remain a torero twenty four hours out of twenty four; it even shows in the way you smoke a cigarette.”
“Every day performances change. I hate either repetition or archaism in this kind of show.”
And every day I saw something different, according to the actors’ mood or inspiration.
Like the butterfly of an Indian song, in the coming breeze of the night I stood there. My countryside circus was so small that thirty chairs under the tent were many. I was six, or seven, I don’t know. The white horse ran around so close to the chairs I could smell his sweat. Terrified, I couldn’t move. For the first time I had met a real monster, and the risk of a martyrdom that was not sanctified.